Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Viking 1 Landing on Mars


June 19th Viking I entered orbit around Mars , and July 20 celebrates ‘40 Years On Mars’ for the Viking I. Those events were followed by Viking Orbiter II insertion on Aug. 7, and another successful landing on September 9 of Viking II. Viking was a collaborative effort between many NASA Centers and Contractors, led by the Langley Viking Project Office and Martin Marietta, with critical instrumentation designed and built by TRW.  The TRW Viking Lander Biology Instrument (VLBI), comprised of 3 chemistry laboratories, and the Viking Meteorology Instrument System evolved in a very intense development cycle. All 4 TRW instruments along with the other instruments on both landers and orbiters, operated successfully, and provided first of a kind data from the Mars surface.

This year will commemorate of the Viking missions, with local events by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics LA-LV Section and national events by the Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project (VMMEPP).  VMMEPP preserves the Viking mission history and artifacts and hosts annual events and outreach for the public, and is hosting the 2016, 40th Viking Team Member Reunion, open to ALL Vikings from institutes across the globe in all roles – every role contributed to the mission success!

As of the press date, the Los Angeles events are still in planning, but the VMMEPP all-day Public Viking and Mars Exploration educational event and Private Invite only Viking Alumni Reunion (RSVP required) on July 16are confirmed at the Wings over the Rockies Museum near Denver,  Colorado. Lockheed Martin and Viking Alumni will enjoy a 50% discount on admission.  Vikings will be available for autographs and to meet the public to share their experiences. There will also be activities for kids including two Mars Challenge activities sponsored by The Space Foundation.

For the  AIAA LA_LV event, please contact Gary Moir at gary.moir@ingenuir.com for other Viking Alumni Reunion invitations, mission information and events and the 40th Viking Reunion and Public Mars Exploration Day, contact Rachel Tillman atrachel@thevikingpreservationproject.org and follow https://www.facebook.com/VikingMarsMission

VMMEPP Events Details

Join The Viking Mars Missions Education & Preservation Project (VMMEPP) 501C3 and Sponsor Lockheed Martin on July 16th at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver Colorado, to celebrate 40 Years On Mars with Viking – the first successful surface mission to Mars.

From 10am to 4pm the public can meet Viking Mission Members who served in roles from Science and Engineering to Testing, and Mission Operations from the many institutes and NASA Centers that designed, built, and operated all three craft – Titan IIIE, Orbiters, and Landers in this historical series of firsts that changed the face of Mars Exploration forever.

Award winning Space Authors/Journalists Leonard David and Andy Chaikin will be there to autograph books and share their insights with the public.

Dr. Jim Rice of Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity will talk about the mission including current findings.

Steve Albers, Senior Research Associate at NOAA & CIRA and Viking Intern from 1976, will be presenting a 3D immersive Mars experience with custom integrated Viking and Curiosity surface information using HiRise imagery.

The Space Foundation will be featuring Mars Challenge activities fun for the whole family.

Students and talented space enthusiasts will share their experiences and talent featuring 3D modeling and printing, homemade Documentary films, rocketry, and student led experiments.

These and other surprise Guests will make a day to remember!

Bring your friends, relatives, and Teachers to this action packed once in a lifetime day, and if you are in the area come on down and join us.

The event is led by The Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, in cooperation with The Space Foundation and Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum who have donated resources and finding to make this event possible.
“The Viking Mars Mission employed individuals around the world in a variety of disciplines and roles. The Viking Mars Missions Education and Preservation Project is still searching for Viking contributors for the Oral History Library, and to include them in the Private Viking Reunion. Viking contributors can send their name, email, and role and institute from the mission to rachel@thevikingpreservationproject.org to learn more about the 40th Viking Reunion.


We recognize that there were many contributors that we are still not aware of, and we don’t want anyone to be left out, so please feel free to forward this email to other Viking participants and copy us. Print a copy and keep it handy for your next luncheon, round of holes, or chance meeting!

Please encourage your Viking friends to attend this important milestone gathering and make this celebration out of this world! For those outside the area, we are researching local accommodations. Please let us know if you need this guidance. We recognize there are many activities going on this summer, and we worked hard to ensure there was adequate time to travel to complimentary alumni and local gatherings. We hope you will join us in CO along with your peers and new Vikings you might not have met!

“The AIAA event is on July 28 from 4:30 to 7:00pm in the Si Ramo Theatre located in Space Park Building E2. Any connections to Viking veterans will be welcomed. You can sign up here.”

Best Regards,Mars_Logo73_with-name_white-back Meteorology-logo
Gary Moir, PE

AIAA LA-LV Section Technical Luncheon Chair

Currently out of the US with only intermittent email com.

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